I have no problem with there being a law to protect and assist students who are transsexual. Such a law might well have made my life a lot better when I was in school, though that is a hard concept to wrap my mind around because at that time, there were some many other things that would have been issues that the ones addressed by this law would have been relatively minor.
I do know that I had learned to hide my feelings, and I have a very clear memory of answering a question asked by a psychiatrist in a way that was not truthful. I was asked, "If you had three wishes, what would they be?" I knew what the first would be, "To be able to change into a girl." and I also knew that it would not be a wise thing to admit. Instead, I gave what I thought were "safe" answers. Given how badly those were twisted, I still shudder to think how that woman would have reacted to the truth.
But this law is, as I pointed out, poorly written. It is the sort of law that only a transgender extremists could truly love. It is so vague, it pretty much amounts to "anything goes" with regards to students claiming to be "transgender." There are no standards for what constitutes a valid claim. It is strictly "name it, and claim it." There is no requirement that the student have even spoken to a therapist.
In theory, at least, a jock could walk into the principals office with a grin on his face, announce that he feels like a girl, and insist on being allowed to enter the girls locker rooms and bathrooms, and there is nothing that could be done to stop him. Now, maybe this will never happen, but it could. A more likely scenario is that some student who has a fetish will take advantage of the law to, and gain access to such spaces even though his gender, and gender identity are still quite male.
And all of this brings us to the present. Mr. "Autumn" Sandeen latest diatribe is about how the Capitol Resource Institute is leading a coalition that has begun gathering signatures to overturn the law. I imagine they will have no problem getting the law on the ballot. And chances are very good that it will pass.
The problem is rather obvious. As Mr. Sandeen points out in the article:
The California School Boards Association (CSBA) describes the School Success and Opportunity Act as requiring “districts to permit transgender students to participate in gender-segregated school programs and activities – including athletic teams, sports competitions and field trips – consistent with their gender identity and to use facilities consistent with their gender identity.The only problem is, the term should be sex-segregated. What the law does is require schools, with no qualifications or limits, to allow male-bodied students in girl's locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms with no real restrictions as regards issues like "inevitable nudity." As I said, the law is very poorly written.
A real irony is, Mr. Sandeen quotes a press release from the leader of, which states :
“AB 1266 mandates San Francisco values on all California schools.”That's the problem... It actually doesn't. Here in San Francisco, the rules concerning access to showers and locker rooms require that access only be given as long as "inevitable nudity" is not a problem, and that a facility must, if feasible, take steps to prevent such from happening, or provided separate but equal facilities. In another words, you have provide separate, enclosed stalls for showers and changing if that can be reasonably done. This law, does not seem to allow for such restrictions.
Now, maybe schools have such facilities. When I was in high school, the only showers were for the athletes (my senior year, it was decided that they would be available to others during PE, though it was optional and most did not take advantage) and they was zero privacy. I don't know if the girls locker room was the same or not. I also recall from my college days that the showers in the dorms originally built for male students also had open showers. I only spent one semester in such a dorm, and the rest of the time I was in a dorm originally built for female students but "converted" to half of what was rather jokingly referred to as the co-ed dorm. We shared a common building, but it consisted of two wings separated by the cafeteria with a gate separating the two sides that was locked at night. The showers in that building had separate stalls. No really "co-ed." but it was provided as a response for demand for such a co-ed dorm.
No, the simple solution would be to quickly amend the law to add a few simple provisions:
Require students wishing to make such a claim to be seeing a qualified therapist and have a written statement that provides a diagnosis.
Further, students wishing to make such claims would have to present completely as the gender they claim to identify as. In another words, the would have, as they walk, the walk, and not just talk the talk.
There should also be provisions allowing schools to make accommodations when facilities do not provide adequate privacy in situations that involve inevitable nudity. We don't need any teenage "Colleen" Francis types exposing themselves.
And a provision should be made to prevent students from repeatedly switching back and forth.
Changes like that would likely short-circuit a proposition that will likely end all protections, even those for students who actually need them.
But I doubt the transgender extremists will have the good sense to compromise, preferring a glorious defeat instead.